The remarks made by Lugari MP Nabii Nabwera regarding Isaac GM Andabwa, the head of the Kenya National Private Security Workers Union (KNPSWU), as “head of watchmen” have ignited a fierce online battle between their respective supporters.
In a brief video seen by WKT, Mr. Nabwera is seen addressing Lugari residents during a public event that marked the initiation of a Sh20 million eight-classroom project at Panpaper Primary School in Lugari Ward on Monday.
Speaking in the Kabras language, Nabii is heard saying: “Can the heads of watchmen (Andabwa) help people get land?”
The MP’s words are tied to the ongoing controversy concerning a portion of forest land intended for allocation to squatters from the Mautuma Central Settlement Scheme.
The matter, initially raised in the National Assembly, has now been elevated to the Senate. The petition aims to de-gazette a segment of forest land in Lugari and Turbo, enabling the squatters to attain full ownership.
Both Nabwera and Andabwa are entangled in this issue, each backing different groups in Parliament to advance the petition. Disagreements arise around the size of the land and the allocation each squatter would receive if the petition progresses.
Nabwera’s comments have fueled allegations from Andabwa’s supporters, accusing the MP of arrogance and belittling the private security sector by labeling their leader as the “head of watchmen.”
“Show respect for those you’re calling watchmen. They toil to support their families. Andabwa, whom you label as a watchman, has facilitated job opportunities in the constituency,” a visibly agitated supporter of Andabwa, Peris Aswani, rebuted.
Meanwhile, proponents of Nabii dismiss these comments as a smear campaign to tarnish his reputation and hinder local development.
“Unfortunately, your address may not portray you as a sober lady; show some respect; I thought watchman was a normal word in the English dictionary,” Benkay Namisi responds to Peris’ video.
The rivalry between Nabwera and Andabwa intensified during the August 9, 2022, general elections. Supporters of Andabwa assert that Nabii secured victory through questionable methods and are determined to “impart a lesson” to him.
Sam Oduor is the editor-in-chief at the Western Kenya Times who leverages the power of the Internet in telling stories that shape opinions.